In the case of industries that use forest products as raw material, such as the paper industry, concern for the sustainable development of forests necessitates that certifications be required in order to guarantee the non-destructive use of forest resources.
Certification for wood involves two fundamental elements:
The main forest certification systems are the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Over the past several years, Torraspapel has taken great effort to achieve PEFC and FSC Chain of Custody certification at its mills.
One of the principles on which the environmental policy of Torraspapel is based is the verification of where the pulp and wood its uses comes from, promoting in the process sustainable forest management.
The pulp Torraspapel uses in the manufacturing of paper comes from its mill in Zaragoza (57%) and external providers (43%).
The pulp produced at the Zaragoza mill is derived from wood from eucalyptus tree plantations on the Cantabrian coast in Spain and in Portugal. In Spain, the surface area of certified forest is scarce (approximately 3% of the total forest mass) due primarily to the small size of tree plantations. Torraspapel therefore works actively alongside ASPAPEL (Spanish Association of Pulp, Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers) to assist owners of small sections of forest in Spain who already practice sustainable forest management to obtain certification of their forests according to one of the internationally recognized forest programs.
As for purchased pulp, Torraspapel has implemented a policy aimed at increasing the purchase of certified pulp and creating the necessary controls for the management of this kind of information. All suppliers of pulp to Torraspapel must declare:
In 2009, 86% of purchased pulp was certified in accordance with one of the existing market certification schemes (FSC, PEFC, SFI, etc.), while the remaining 14% came from controlled sources approved by these same certifications.
Greenhouse gases are considered to be among the chief causes of climate change. Among the gases of this kind released in the manufacturing of pulp and paper, carbon dioxide (CO2) is beyond a doubt the most significant.
Over the past 5 years, Torraspapel has reduced its specific CO2 emissions by 7%, the result of various measures, such as replacing fuel oil with natural gas, improvements in production processes and implementing plant-specific energy-saving projects.
In accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, all of Torraspapel’s factories practice CO2 emissions control and are working toward improving energy efficiency processes so as to reduce as much as possible the emission of greenhouse gases.
Reducing CO2 emissions is the first step toward solving the problem of global warming, but the importance of maintaining and increasing forest masses is also fundamental. For this reason, Torraspapel is progressively increasing the purchase of certified pulp from sustainably managed tree plantations which contribute to increasing forest mass through reforestation projects. This has resulted in the planting of more than 20,000 trees, genuine absorbers of CO2.
All Torraspapel products are manufactured with ECF (Elementary Chlorine Free)pulp. In 2001, Torraspapel eliminated chlorine gas from the whitening process. This has allowed for the elimination of effluent dioxins and as a result, substantially improved the quality of water discharged during the manufacturing process.
There is a fallacy which says that paper is only ecological if it’s recycled. Ecological paper, however, is paper manufactured using technology that is respectful of the environment and employing renewable, raw materials which are recyclable and controlled. In other words, the entire productive process is guided by sustainability criteria.
It must also be kept in mind that recycled paper, although it uses recovered fibre, requires a manufacturing process that has an impact on the environment: the treatment of ink made up of varnishes, oils, solvents, pigments, aniline and other components disposed of in large quantities can have a negative impact on the environment. At the same time, recycled paper obtained from paper made with chlorine does not shed this polluting component in the manufacturing process.
Torraspapel manufactures paper that is 100% ECF (Elementary Chlorine Free). It purchases certified pulp from sustainably managed forests and has invested heavily in ambitious projects aimed at improving the environment:
EMAS certification is the maximum European certification for environmental management. It represents the next step after ISO 14001 certification as it requires producing a report or a periodic public environmental declaration that contains significant environmental information, results of a company’s environmental program and the objectives and goals its has set for improving its environmental behavior. At the same time, obtaining EMAS certification mandates promoting awareness training and employee participation in environmental initiatives.
EMAS is the symbol of progressive environmental management, characterized by transparency and environmental involvement.
All the company’s mills have completed the strict environmental audits required by EMAS regulation.